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Science & Technology

Ancient virus resurrected from permafrost

By T.K. Randall
March 5, 2014 · Comment icon 31 comments

What lies frozen in the permafrost ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Hannes Grobe
A mysterious virus dating back 30,000 years has been discovered frozen in the Siberian permafrost.
Like something from the plot of an X-Files episode, scientists have been able to bring back to life a prehistoric virus that has managed to survive tens of thousands of years frozen in the ground.

While the newly revived virus is not believed to be harmful to anything other than single-celled organisms, concerns have been raised over whether other more deadly variants might one day be released as the planet warms up.
Of particular concern is the possibility that viruses that once plagued the Neanderthals might be capable of infecting humans now that our immune systems have lost lost the ability to deal with them.

"It is true that viruses will be archived in permafrost and glacial ice, but the probability that viral pathogens of humans are abundant enough, and would circulate extensively enough to affect human health, stretches scientific rationality to the breaking point," said marine virologist Curtis Suttle.

"I would be much more concerned about the hundreds of millions of people that will be displaced by rising sea levels than the risk of being exposed to pathogens from melting permafrost."

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (31)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #22 Posted by pallidin 10 years ago
Yeah, no worries. This does not have fatal human pathogenic ability(that I know of) Seasonal flu and similar is much more dangerous.
Comment icon #23 Posted by JGirl 10 years ago
it will mutate. we are doomed
Comment icon #24 Posted by avs76 10 years ago
This is scary. Kinda reminds me of a book I read a few years ago, something about a virus that was hidden under the ice I think in Antarctica. It's been locked away for 30000 years, maybe it was put there for a reason. Some things are supposed to stay hidden ...
Comment icon #25 Posted by Myster D 10 years ago
like we've no got enough viruses leave it well alone already
Comment icon #26 Posted by qxcontinuum 10 years ago
A 30.000 years old virus is as inoffensive as a lady bug. In fact that virus will not survive itself out there. Viruses requires continuos mutation to resist to actual changes. Isn't funny that everything on this planet is enemy or food to the human body ?
Comment icon #27 Posted by Rlyeh 10 years ago
A 30.000 years old virus is as inoffensive as a lady bug. In fact that virus will not survive itself out there. Viruses requires continuos mutation to resist to actual changes. Isn't funny that everything on this planet is enemy or food to the human body ? And virtually every other organism.
Comment icon #28 Posted by FizzPuff 10 years ago
Kinda reminds me of something out of the x-files... the one with the black goop stuff.
Comment icon #29 Posted by SolarPlexus 10 years ago
Did the virus survive in our atmosphere?
Comment icon #30 Posted by JustTerri 10 years ago
That's crazy.
Comment icon #31 Posted by Collateral Damage 10 years ago
lets hope they don't combine it with something else or some ****. if they do were ****ed. 30,000+ year old virus that no one on earth has immunity to+X Virus=GF Human Race. Sorry for such a late response! That would be a terrible scenario and is possible. It's sad, really, how such intelligent minds would rather be wasted on horrific nature rather than put to use on honorable achievements. Let's just hope we never come to that, or like you said, we're ****ed!


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